ABPS Physician Board Certification and Mitigating Hospital Physician Shortages

Hospital Physician ShortageThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) believes physician board certification in Hospital Medicine is one way to combat a shortage of hospital physicians in the United States. Many studies and surveys conducted over the past few years have helped observers of the medical profession conclude that there is – and will continue to be – a shortage of physicians in this country. While a lot of focus has been on primary care physicians, one survey of hospital CEOs conducted recently indicated that those executives are bracing for an existing (and worsening) shortage of physicians in hospitals, as well.

In that survey, conducted by the medical staffing company AMN Healthcare, 86 percent of the 400 hospital CEOs who participated acknowledged that they are currently recruiting physicians. In a related question, 94 percent of CEOs surveyed said that recruiting physicians is difficult and/or challenging.

The ABPS believes that one way to confront this challenge is wider acceptance of the career track for qualified primary care physicians to earn physician board certification in Hospital Medicine. To this end, the ABPS developed the nation’s only comprehensive and dedicated board of certification governed by hospitalists, the American Board of Hospital Medicine (ABHM). The standards of the ABHM and all ABPS Member Boards are indisputably rigorous, and applicants must pledge to abide by the organization’s code of ethics. In addition, to be eligible for hospitalist board certification from the ABHM, applicants must:

  • Have completed an approved ACGME, AOA, College of Family Practice of Canada (CFPC), or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) residency in family practice, internal medicine or emergency medicine AND
  • Hold current board certification in family practice, internal medicine, or emergency medicine through ABMS, ABPS, or AOABOS Member Boards OR
  • Be eligible to be certified by the College of Family Practice of Canada (CFPC), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) OR
  • Have completed an ABHM approved fellowship program, or be an instructor in Hospital Medicine.

Other board certifications may be considered on an individual basis.

The shortage of physicians in hospitals must be addressed before it reaches crisis stage in the U.S. ABPS physician board certification in Hospital Medicine is one tool in the arsenal against this increasingly troubling development in the medical industry. Contact the ABPS to learn more about our mission of helping ensure patients receive the best care possible, or for more information about board certification through the ABHM.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine